"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 5:3 This is the first of the beatitudes Jesus spoke at the beginning of His ministry. This beatitude is first, because it opens up the whole kingdom of heaven. Those who are poor in spirit will have access to all that is in the kingdom of heaven, both now, and in the future. To be blessed is written as follows in the Amplified version: "Happy, to be envied, spiritually prosperous - with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions." Jesus gives us the key to living a happy and abundant life, regardless of outward conditions. We can so easily think to ourselves, that if we just had this thing, or circumstances were different, then we would be happy. But Jesus is showing us that true happiness does not come from outward conditions, but from the attitude of the heart. But what does it mean to be poor in spirit? When Jesus was asked who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, He brought a little child, and said that unless we become as little children, we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. The poor in spirit are as children; trusting, humble, lowly, innocent, and believing. The poor in spirit do not claim any righteousness of their own. They are not arrogant or prideful. They are not like the Pharisee who went to the temple, reminding God of all the good things he had done. Beside him was the tax collector who prayed, "God be merciful to me a sinner." The poor in spirit do not boast of self, but rely on the mercy of God. This attitude of dependence on God opens up for them the whole kingdom of God. They are able to receive help from God in any area of life, because "...God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Grace is available to the poor in spirit. Jesus was the perfect example of a person who was poor in spirit. Phil. 2 tells us that His equality with God was not something that He grasped and held onto. He did not demand special treatment because of who He was. Rather, He made Himself a servant, and humbled Himself, even to the death of the cross. The poor in spirit do not exalt themselves, they let God exalt them. Jesus was highly exalted, and given a name above every name. Promotion comes from the Lord. He exalts those who humble themselves. The poor in spirit are clothed with humility, submissive to others, and cast their cares upon the Lord. They give the control of their life to God. They realize that two people cannot drive at the same time. They relinquish control of the wheel of their life, and trust the Lord as their new driver. They believe that God will direct their paths. When they find themselves back behind the wheel, they ask the Lord to once again come in and take control. The poor in spirit are happy, regardless of outward conditions, for they have trusted their lives to the One who knows all things, and theirs is the kingdom of God.
Have you given control of your life to the Lord today?
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